By Nikolai Fomich
New York Comic Con kicked off last Thursday night with Brian Posehn’s Mutant Comedy Crew, featuring performances by Mike Drucker, Myq Kaplan, Baron Vaughn, Trevor Moore, and Janeane Garofalo. Circumcision, time travel, and nerd rage were popular topics of the night, the standup comics vying for geek cred.
The event kicked off with prizes being flung to audience members, who competed by section, vying to show who could laugh the loudest at the corniest of jokes (“What was Gollum doing on the subway going towards Brooklyn? Looking for Precious.”), while remixes of Star Wars songs played.
Posehn took to the stage next and launched into an amusing rant regarding the laments of hipsters and their lack of understanding about true self-hatred. It’s not about running out of mustache wax or your unicycle having a flat. “Fuck you hipster,” Posehn said. “I’m 47 and my tits sweat. I have to wake up in the middle of the night with fat tits.”
Mike Drucker, a writer for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, performed next. He spoke about his inability to enjoy porn like he used to (“I’m part of a problem”) and his retirement plan (“a gun with one bullet”). He also related an incident between him and his sister one Christmas, in which she heckled him for being given comic books. “My sister said, “Oh really Mike, you’re in your 30’s and you still read comic books? What, you still think you’re going to become a superhero?” I don’t know Tiffany, you’re in your 30’s and you still read romance novels, do you think somebody’s still going to love you?” Brilliant.
Standup comic Myq Kaplan followed, discussing his dislike of children, circumcision, and pot. Kaplan also spoke extensively about time travel. He claimed that if it existed, Jews would have used it already to try and kill Hitler. “This means time travel hasn’t been invented yet. Or any minute now we’ll wonder, “Who were we talking about? And what’s with all the extra Jews? Something must have not of happened.” Kaplan claimed, however, that that’s not how time travel works. “You can go back, but you just can’t change anything. But Jews are resilient, resourceful; they will still try and complete the mission. Hundreds of Jews, thousands of Jews will travel back in time to kill Hitler. And all child Hitler will know – and I’m not saying that this is what really happened – is that there are all these Jews trying to kill him. And suddenly the Holocaust makes more sense.”
Baron Vaughn mixed comedy with song for his act, singing the themes to DuckTales, Tailspin, Darkwing Duck, and Gummybears – “The closest our generation had to Marvin Gaye.” Vaughn sported a sweater jacket and purple tie, looking like a jazz-loving “inner city librarian who just heard of the ‘70s”. Vaughan also spoke about his failed attempts at quitting sugar. “It can kill, yet it’s in everything. Heroin and cocaine wish they could be like sugar. They probably had posters of sugar growing up, saying “One day, we’re going to be like sugar. One day we’re going to be in breakfast cereals.” Vaughn also talked about the cheap cereal brands he ate as a child and how those brands mocked him with their names, reminding him of his place in America – “the cereal caste system”. Now as an adult, he struggles between the cereal with wheat on the box and the cereal depicting make-believe characters.
Vaughn introduced the next standup, Trevor Moore from The Whitest Kids You Know, as “literally one of the whitest kids I know, because he loves The Wire”. Moore and his sidekick Ivan played guitars as Moore sang about God and circumcision (“He left one piece a bit too long”) and about the things he texts himself to remember while drunk (“Try to get the rights to Space Jam”). Moore then presented a country music video featuring his dark descent into drinking mouthwash one night when he and a friend were refused alcohol at a convenience store: “Before you count this night up as a loss, ask yourself “What about mouthwash?””
Comic veteran Janeane Garofalo followed, beginning by breaking the news to the audience that the government shutdown had led to the all the living Doctor Who’s being stuck at JFK, because they couldn’t get visas. Garofalo praised the lines at Whole Foods in her act, stating that, unlike at other supermarkets, their lines work. “Everyone plays their part with zeal and any breach of protocol is quickly dealt with.” She also revealed to the audience her two dream jobs: opening a bead store and becoming the referee at the puppy bowl.
Brian Posehn returned to close the show, saying that he’d love to sign copies of Deadpool after his act or smoke other people’s weed – a talent he excels at. Then speaking in a Muppet voice, Posehn explained, “I ate Frank Oz, that’s why you never see him at cons.”
Posehn devoted the beginning of his act to speaking about his experiences at gastro-fusion-SciFi-witchcraft restaurants, where he and a friend had a dish that, in his friend’s words, could only be described as “angel cum”. Posehn approved of the metaphor and elaborated, wondering if they were free range angels or force fed ones jerking off in tiny cages. Their waiter then presented them with a plate of meat by saying, “Gentlemen, this is antelope that was shot in Denver, Colorado, using a sniper rifle from a helicopter.” Posehn said that all his food now must be prepared exactly in that manner.
The comedian shared his thoughts on the current state of Times Square, comparing it to the Times Square of his childhood, “back when you could get murdered, watch a Kung Fu movie, and run into a man-lady prostitute.” Now, with Italian food that makes Olive Garden seem delicious “and not like poison”, a store dedicated to everyone’s fifth favorite candy, M&M’s, and bleachers that look stupid and block three lanes of traffic, Times Square has earned Posehn’s rage. “It’s like the shittiest Blade Runner ever. The giant billboards aren’t selling trips to off-world planets, they’re selling jeans!”
Posehn also spoke about his little boy – “The one me and my wife made, when you look like me, you have to finish that sentence.” Posehn said that, to get his son’s energy down, they wrestle:
“He’s been to my nerd cave, and he’ll say, “I’ll be Batman and you be Wolverine.” Well, I’m such a fucking nerd, that I go on to explain that those two guys are not from the same universe and generally I’m not a fan of crossovers, but I guess we can play your stupid little game. And he’s like, “I’m four you dick.” Do you see Wolverine in Brave and the Bold? Keep it DC or keep it Marvel and keep it apart.”
Posehn closed by revealing to the audience his own personal Vietnam: Star Wars. The two trigger words that drive him mad. He surveyed the audience to see how many people hate the prequels (which seemed to be almost everybody) and then went on to explain that he doesn’t just hate the prequels, but the special editions as well. “There was no need!” He wasn’t without criticism for Jedi either, specifically regarding the Ewoks and Boba Fett’s comedic death. “He might as well have slipped on a banana peel. Put in a fart noise if you’re going to change anything.” As for Posehn’s biggest fear? His son watching The Phantom Menace:
“I’m not worried about pot or pornography. Not now – four’s still a little too early to develop a weed or pornography habit. But I know he’s going to come home one day and say to his mom, “I saw Phantom Menace at Jacob’s and it wasn’t that bad” [and she’ll reply] “Watch your fucking mouth! Father will leave us!”
Good advice to children everywhere.